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Folding Kayak

Folding Kayak

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Published by Jim
A classic boat plan.
A classic boat plan.

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Published by: Jim on Apr 14, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/27/2012

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This kayak foldslike a book 
By JESS E. RATHBUN
You can carry a fleet of these lightweight crafton top of your car
IT'S NOT FAST, it's not roomy and you won't
find many practical uses for such an outlandishcraft. In fact, this center-folding kayak has onlyone feature to recommend it—it's fun.It's also inexpensive so you can afford to makeone for every member of your family. And youcan tote a whole fleet on top of your car.Construction is unorthodox. Instead of usingscrews, nails or other common fasteners, you"tape" the boat together with canvas and contactcement. No metal parts are required.Built according to the specifications includedhere, the kayak will weigh only about 40 lbs. andwill accommodate an average-sized man. How-ever, so long as the correct proportions are main-tained, you can shrink the dimensions to turnout a midget version or increase them slightly togain a little more leg room.While marine plywood may be used for theside panels, exterior grade AA (or even AB)will do just as well here. Canvas can be any-where between 14 and 18-oz. weight, but shouldhave a tight, close weave for easy waterproofing.Begin construction by cutting the four sidepanels from a 4 x 10-ft. sheet of 1/4-in. plywood.All these panels have the same outline, the only
 
This kayak weighs only 40 lbs. and folds down the middle so that you can carry it easily.Note the bottom rub rail which protects the canvas. You can carry a fleet on your car
 
Install the spreaders after "taping" the edges of thepanels. These should be trimmed for a proper fit be-fore the center gap is covered with canvas. Allowenough slack for removal of the spreader for folding
difference between the top and bottom pair be-ing the cockpit cutouts. If you're planning tomake two or three kayaks, cut the required num-ber of panels at one time so that you can use thefirst two as patterns. The rounded ends of eachpanel are squared off slightly to present a 1-1/2-in.square edge so that the canvas will go aroundfrom top to bottom without wrinkling.Next, cement the 1/4 x 1/2-in. inside strips andretainers to the panels, positioning them flush tothe edge with the %-in. face down. The strips aredesigned to provide reinforcement for the seat-bottom floorboard, but also to form notches tohold the spreader boards. Taper the ends of these strips and the inner retainers so that youcan remove and insert the spreaders easily. Outerretainers act as stop blocks and need not betapered. Once these are in place, paint the innersurfaces of the panels since they will be almostinaccessible once the boat is assembled. You

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